The Call of Inspiration

by Andrea Noel

What are you inspired to do? What is that thing inside your soul that you must do, create, be, write, or share with the world? What is that thing that just will not go away no matter how much you try to rationalize why it is silly, not wise, or not best? It is silly for you to quit your job to play the bass full-time. It is not wise for you to leave corporate America to teach 12th grade science in an urban community. It is not best to take six months leave to spend time taking care of an ailing friend. It’s just insane, ludicrous even!

Inspiration is spirit-based rather than head-based, no matter how many times you logically think about that thing you have an intuitive urge or wild passion for, it will never make complete sense. With inspiration there is paradox and mystery; transformation and energy; direction and provision. Inspiration is a force to be reckoned with. It is magnetic, dynamic, progressive, and creative.

When you get inspired follow it wherever it leads and trust that wherever it takes you is exactly where your heart needs to be. Inspiration helps you see clearer, gives you true direction and brings you closer to spirit and your higher self.

You may question whether you have felt inspired before. I boldly proclaim that you have! Slow down and center yourself. Begin listening for the still, small voice inside you and it can uncover your inspiration in all of its grandeur and glory. You are never too young or not young to be inspired.

Feel your wellspring of energy, see the untapped possibilities, and take one step forward. Dare to fly! Dare to believe! Dare to be inspired! Dare to inspire the world!

The Apple of God’s Eye

By Andrea A Noel (c) 2008


Tiffany (Coons) O’Hara – An M.S. Graduate Success Story

JoAnn: What led you to Loyola’s Department of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care?

Tiffany: I got my undergraduate degree from Mt. Saint Mary’s and knew I wanted to stay in Maryland.  While looking for graduate programs in Clinical Psychology, I saw Pastoral Counseling, but I had no idea what it was. I researched it, and the more I learned about it, the more I realized that it was the perfect fit for me with its blend of psychology and spirituality. I was not comfortable pushing aside my faith in my career path. I discerned Loyola was a good fit for me.

JoAnn: How was it at Loyola?

Tiffany: I loved Loyola from day one!  Starting class with a prayer, meeting people from different faith backgrounds, experiencing everyone’s passion to help other people, and the way they integrate spirituality into their work was so inspiring for me from my first class to my last and now.

JoAnn: What were your most memorable experiences?

Tiffany: Dr. Sharon Cheston’s and Dr. Frank Richardson’s classes stood out for me. Family Counseling and Pastoral Integration were my favorite classes. The clinical portions of my studies were meaningful for me. Getting hands-on experience with different supervisors was extremely helpful.  Two years of internship gave me the confidence to go out into the workforce and know that I was ready.

JoAnn: Where did you do your internships?

Tiffany: My first one was at St. Francis Academy, a Catholic High School in Baltimore, and the second year I was at Lighthouse Youth and Family Services. I had a practicum supervisor, an on-site supervisor, and a small group supervisor in my first internship and two supervisors in my second.  I learned so much from all of them and would advise students to make the most of the supervision that they receive.

JoAnn: I heard you got married, bought a new house, went on your first ever cruise for a honeymoon, got a new dog, wrote the Professional Seminar paper, and got a new job!  How did you juggle it all?

Tiffany: Through the grace of God!  And, with very supportive family/friends and self-care. I did a lot of knitting and crocheting blankets/scarves. I prayed and journaled. I had a “keep my eyes on the prize” mentality.  Everything that happened, while stressful, was a positive thing, so that helped.  Knowing that I was called to be a counselor helped me to get through the program.

JoAnn: How was the job hunting process?

Tiffany: I started job hunting my second to last semester before I graduated. Perhaps I was a bit pre-emptive, but I am glad I did. The process was frustrating and discouraging! I put out so many resumes and only got only two bites. I was in a catch-22 situation. I had not yet graduated or gotten my license. I interviewed with Contemporary Family Services. I told them I wanted to be a school-based counselor and they were looking for a counselor for their charter schools in Baltimore. They offered me the job on the spot! I will start as soon as my LGPC (Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor) certification is completed.

JoAnn: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Tiffany: I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to have gone through the program, graduated, and to be where I am now.  I enjoyed my years at Loyola in the PC
and I miss it much more than I thought I would.